Beside Your Heart (Beside Your Heart #1)
By Mary Whitney
Published June 17th, 2013
New Adult | Contemporary Romance
About the Book:
Late one night Nicki Johnson plays with emotional fire and Googles her high school love, only to find his name splashed across the British gossip columns. Back in his native England, Adam Kincaid is successful and dating a woman from an aristocratic family like his own. With a career in politics, Nicki’s no slouch, but she knows Adam is living a world away from her life.
Yet there was a time he was no farther than the next locker. Nicki will never forget their year together in high school—the year of her sister’s death, the year her mother checked out. Adam helped Nicki through suffocating grief, and she led him through a coming of age. Was it just high school, or was it something more?
Every once in a while I’ll stumble upon a book that just catches my eye with it’s cover. Then I’ll read the synopsis and think, “hmmm, intriguing” (seriously, I remember crap like that).
Mary Whitney’s Beside Your Heart was one of those books. I happened to see it on someone’s blog, envied them briefly that they received it for review, checked the price on Amazon, and then promptly purchased said book because it’s only $2.99 – why not?
I was not disappointed in the tiniest bit with this book that I took a chance on. With a quirky set-up to the start of story, I was in for one heck of a romance that we all know is doomed from the start… or is it?? Let me explain.
Story / Tempo
From the synopsis, you’ve probably surmised that the story starts years after high school and our protagonist, Nicki, in a moment of weakness, is looking up her high school love on the internet. From there, we’re transported back in time to Nicki’s worst year in high school. I’m not spoiling a thing for you by telling you that the bulk of the story is spent on Nicki and Adam’s relationship in high school and how Adam helps Nicki get through this year.
I absolutely loved how this story flowed. It was sweet, tortuous, and I could completely relate to Nicki’s feelings for Adam. I totally remember those feelings from high school… maybe even college. When a guy you had a crush on totally got you, thought you were totally cool, loved hanging around with you, but you were only friends because of a pesky thing called “his girlfriend”. Oh, wait! I didn’t mention our love interest has a girlfriend did I? Makes for a very intriguing storyline… seriously! I ate this one up, smiling all the way. Oh, I love my teenage angst…
I really dug Nicki. She had a really unique personality and sense of humor. I loved reading her POV during the story because of this. I also thought that Ms. Whitney did a great job of communicating the pain Nicki felt over the loss of her sister to the pages of the story.
Adam, Adam, Adam… um, yeah… dreamy, British, Adam. *sigh* He was truly a guy’s guy. He did the kind of things you hate that guys do. But they wouldn’t be guys if they didn’t do stupid things sometimes. I wish I could say more about him but some of things I want to say might spill some beans about the story so I’m just going to hush and let you discover Adam for yourself.
Ms. Whitney’s supporting characters were absolutely outstanding! I can’t say enough how much I LOVED Sylvia!!! She was the typical, annoying younger sister to Adam that I could picture so easily in my head. When an author can write words that immediately paint pictures in my head, I say that’s a good thing. Hell to the Yeah!! Also awesome were Adam and Nicki’s mutual friend, Tom, who I pictured as a big teddy bear, just more handsome. Finally, Nicki’s besties, Lisa and Rachel, were a great balance/sound board to everything Nicki was going through. And they rarely complained about being left behind for the “boyfriend” – outstanding 🙂
I want to warn you… this story will not end like you think it should (you know you like to boss authors around, c’mon!). I will give you a hint, though. It ends with a chapter of Adam’s POV and it’s in the future. Just don’t go looking for the HEA to be all nice, neat, and tied up with a bow in this book. There are 2 more books coming in this trilogy (phew, thank goodness!). Book two will be out in November 2013 and book three will be out in early 2014.
About the Author:
Even before she graduated from law school, Mary knew she wasn’t cut out to be a real lawyer. Drawn to politics, she’s spent her career as an organizer, lobbyist, and nonprofit executive. Nothing piques her interest more than a good political scandal or romance, and when she stumbled upon writing, she put the two together. A born Midwesterner, naturalized Texan, and transient resident of Washington, D.C., Mary now lives in Northern California with her two daughters and real lawyer husband.
I’m offering one of my readers an e-copy of Beside Your Heart by Mary Whitney. This contest is open to readers 17 years and older and is open internationally to those people who can accept an e-copy of the book from either Amazon or Barnes & Noble.